Russian Rocket Successfully Orbits U.S. Communications Satellite

Russian Rocket Successfully Orbits U.S. Communications Satellite
An International Launch Services Proton M rocket launches the DIRECTV10 communications satellite into orbit on July 6, 2007 EDT from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Image credit: ILS.)

MOSCOW. July 7(Interfax-AVN) - The U.S. telecommunications satellite DirecTV-10 has been putinto its destination orbit, spokesman for the Russian Khrunichev space researchand production center Alexander Bobrenev told Interfax on Saturday.

"Five blasts of the Breeze-Mupper stage's cruise engine put the DirecTV-10 spacecraft into its destinationorbit with an altitude of 35,700 kilometers," Bobrenev said.

After the satellite reached its orbit, theupper stage separated from it and started an avoidance maneuver to prevent itscollision with the spacecraft, Bobrenev said.

The DirecTV-10 is designedto broadcast digital high definition television (HDTV) programs through cableand national networks in the continental part of the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.The satellite is constructed on the Boeing 702 platform. Its flying weight is5,900 kilograms, and its weight in orbit will be 3,700 kilograms.

The DirectTV-10 is thefirst Boeing satellite launched on board a Proton rocket and the biggestspacecraft ever launched on board a Proton-M rocket to such an orbit.

The satellite wasconstructed at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, a Boeing divisionheadquartered in Seal Beach, California, one of the world leaders inconstructing various types of spacecraft.

  • GALLERY:Twenty Great Rocket Launches
  • All About Satellites

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: